The first part of treatment involves lifestyle changes such as:
- Avoiding lying down straight after eating
- stopping smoking, because tobacco smoke irritates your digestive system and makes your symptoms worse
- losing weight if overweight
- reducing how much alcohol you drink because it irritates your stomach and relaxes the muscles around your oesophagus allowing stomach acid to reflux up into the oesophagus
- eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three large meals each day
- eating your evening meal two to three hours before you go to bed
- identifying triggers that make your GORD worse, such as coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, carbonated drinks, citrus or fatty or spicy foods, and removing them from your diet
- safely raising the head of your bed by about 20cm with something strong such as a piece of wood or wooden blocks.
If lifestyle changes fail to control symptoms, then medicines can be added. If they fail to work, surgery may be considered, but this is rarely necessary. Surgery can cause complications and risks, so discuss these with your doctor.
Last reviewed: April 2017